Updated 01/12/2020 Is the secrecy of correspondence important to you? There is a solution - use the best private encrypted messengers that provide security guarantees. Most users of messengers don’t think about the security of their data. Information that people make public by sending it somewhere on the Internet can be used for different purposes, and the most innocent of them is targeted advertising. It is not pleasant that a conversation with somebody can be read by other people. How to preserve the right to privacy? It is not necessary to leave social networks and throw away your smartphone. After all, today there is a list of encrypted messenger that can be trusted with personal secrets and confidential business information. Encrypted Messenger: Which messenger to choose? When it comes to secure messengers, Telegram comes to mind for most people. There are many alternatives to the creation of Durov, which can be used both for solving workflows and for ordinary communication. We decided to analyse the most popular encrypted messenger and choose the most secure! First of all, when choosing an encrypted messenger, you need to think about what threats may be relevant to you personally. This is the base of your choice. From the main provisions we can distinguish the following positions: 1. The degree of centralisation Here one of three options are possible: centralized — requires a server, it is possible to block; federated — a network of servers that communicate with each other; decentralized (meaning P2P) — each client is a server at the same time. 2. The possibility of anonymous registration and use For some services, the phone number may be needed only to protect against spam during registration, respectively, it is very easy to use the services of renting numbers for SMS. In other cases, the messenger is tightly tied to the phone. This is bad because if you do not include two-factor authentication, then when you get access to this number, you can go to your account and merge all the data. But even if two-factor is enabled, it is still possible to delete all data from your account. Some messengers allow you to register using a mailbox or social network account. There are those where the account can be created in the messenger without reference to something. 3. Data encryption system It can be E2EE encryption, which is quite popular with modern messengers, or a completely new approach, such as Elliptic Curves. Private Messenger: Useful Top! Utopia p2p Centralization: Decentralized Anonymous registration: Yes Encryption: Elliptic Curves and Unique P2P Network Utopia is a specially created closed ecosystem that is built on decentralization. The main feature is the use of peer-to-peer architecture. It means that there is no single data warehouse for data storage. Now, all data is kept on a personal server of each client. A high-speed Elliptic Curve25519 and 256-bit AES protect and store the information of the users. Such multi-functional encryption allows averting the threat of data leakage. Above all, access to the personal server opens a specially generated personal key, which is generated during the anonymous registration process. Utopia p2p includes the necessary tools for multi-functional work: An instant messenger - uMessenger. Using it, clients can send and receive a highly encrypted text and voice messages and add to them pictures, videos and stickers. E-mail - uMail. It allows transferring the working files and documents within the ecosystem. The access to data will have only the sender and recipient. Browser - Idyll, built on uNS technology. It means that all sites have already been created or added to the ecosystem. Each client can create new ones thanks to tunnel data technology. E-wallet - uWallet, which stores cryptons, cryptocurrency system, with which you can carry out any financial transactions within the network. Built-in bot -Mining bot. It provides additional earnings cryptons. It charges cryptons for every Internet session via Utopia. Also, Utopia p2p eliminates any errors when using the ecosystem and impresses with its stability, convenience and speed compared to other similar systems. Signal : Centralization Centralized : Anonymous registration No. In addition to the phone number, there are no other options Encryption: E2EE encryption system The private messenger Signal is developed by the American startup Open Whisper Systems, where, in addition to the two founders, only a few people work. To encrypt messages using specially engineered the cryptographic Protocol Signal Protocol. It is used for end-to-end encryption of calls (voice and video), as well as regular messages. Although Signal is centralised, the code is open and distributed under a free license. In Signal there is a support of E2EE of group chats, the protection of the social graph, supported by the disappearing messages. Briar : Centralisation Decentralised : Anonymous registration Yes : Encryption E2EE encryption system Briar sources are open, there is a possibility of anonymous registration and use, and chats are encrypted by default, and are not stored on Briar servers (that is, your messages in encrypted form are stored only on your phone). Also, there is the protection of the social graph (nobody merges your address book), the possibility of creating the group chats, but there is no synchronisation E2EE-chat between devices since it is not possible to use the same chats on different devices. Wire : Centralisation Centralised : Anonymous registration Yes, via E-mail : Encryption E2EE encryption system Wire is one of the most anonymous messengers. It is based on the Wire Swiss Protocol based on Signal. What is it good for? First, there is the possibility of anonymous registration. Second, end-to-end encryption with the ability to synchronise encrypted chats is supported by default. Third, there is social graph protection, group encrypted chats (up to 128 people) and secure conference calls (up to 10 people) are supported. Telegram : Centralisation Centralised : Anonymous registration No : Encryption E2EE encryption system The private messenger created by Pavel Durov's team is based on MTProto correspondence encryption technology. At the moment it is partially blocked on the territory of Russia, but this blockage is a separate topic for conversation. There's a lot of noise around it, but is it justified? Access to source files - no, chats are not encrypted by default, no protection of the social graph (all your contacts are stored on the servers of Telegram), no E2EE of group chats. Besides, they are not supported in the desktop version, only mobile, messenger centralised, messages are stored on the server. Jabber (OMEMO) : Centralisation Federal : Anonymous registration Yes. Sign up using your mailbox, Facebook or Twitter account : Encryption E2EE encryption system If old Jabber and knocked out of the company of modern messengers with funny stickers and voice calls, in terms of privacy, it is still largely indispensable. Federated supports anonymous authentication, E2EE encryption (though you need the extension OMEMO), including the group. Yes, the possibilities are not amazing, but Jabber is time-tested and also has implementations on all possible platforms. ChatSecure for iOS, Conversations for Android, Pidgin for Linux and so on, the list is huge. Threema : Centralisation Centralised : Anonymous registration Yes. You can create an account without being tied to a phone number or email. : Encryption E2EE encryption system Threema is a proprietary centralised private messenger whose servers are located in Switzerland. In addition to text communication, users have access to voice calls, the ability to send their location, voice messages, and files. Group chats of up to 50 people are supported. Messages here are encrypted completely and in a decentralised way on the user's devices, not on the Threema server. Rather, the server acts as a switch: messages are sent through it, but not permanently stored. To register, you do not need to specify data that can help to establish identity — no phone number or email. The first time you run the program randomly generated user ID, based on it will be generated QR-code. All this ensures the anonymity of communication. Dust : Centralisation Federal : Anonymous registration Yes : Encryption E2EE encryption system Dust also provides end-to-end encryption, which protects data when it is forwarded. But your interlocutor's smartphone can fall into unwanted hands. In this case, Dust offers to protect yourself with the ability to delete your messages from other phones. Correspondence via Dust is not stored permanently on messenger servers and smartphones of users — it disappears automatically after 24 hours. Moreover, it is possible to configure the removal of messages immediately after reading. Also, the messenger prevents the creation of screenshots of messages. Tox.chat : Centralisation Decentralised : Anonymous registration Yes : Encryption E2EE encryption system Since it is possible to register anonymously and all chats are encrypted by default, we can assume that every chat is secret. There is also synchronisation of secret chats, but only incoming messages will be synchronised, but sent from the same account, but from different devices — no. Another possible drawback: messages are stored on the phone and the messenger server, but the developers claim that in encrypted form. But your contact book does not merge into the servers of the messenger, which is now expensive. In general, there is security here, and the possibility of transferring cryptocurrency is likely to please someone. But it is still rather an interesting curiosity than a working tool. KakaoTalk : Centralisation Federal : Anonymous registration Yes : Encryption E2EE encryption system Overall this is another little-known Federal instant messenger with support and sync chats E2EE, including the group. Registration is anonymous, without reference to a mobile phone number or mail. Voice and video calls are supported. Encryption of correspondence can be turned on or off — the indicator of this is the lock icon next to the message sending field. Also, if a user appears in a secret group chat whose devices are not verified by other users, the interlocutors will see a notification about this when they try to send a message. Final word Above all, we recommend to follow the news and to monitor the information about how the developers of the services behave in difficult situations. The developers of the best encrypted messenger should quickly respond to technical problems of users, as well as to requests for user data by the authorities!